How can I be lostI woke up this morning, pulled on Ben's dress shirt and walked out onto the wrought iron balcony to watch the huge v-shaped formations of geese flying south over the Russian district in the cold blue skies. The early morning temperatures sent me quickly back inside, where I could see breakfast set up on the table already in the otherwise empty loft. I ignored it. I woke Ben up, passing him back his shirt while I started pulling my dress back on.
In remembrance I relive
So how can I blame you
When it's me I can't forgive?
He got up and started to dress also, wordlessly. I found my watch and fastened it around one bruised wrist and he passed me, landing a kiss on the top of my head and taking a moment to hold me. Our eyes met when we pulled apart and we made one last survey of the room before turning to leave.
The car was waiting downstairs. Good. Drive of shame. Mike didn't say anything other than Good Morning. I didn't reply. Take me the fuck home so I can sleep. So I can wash Caleb's indelible fingerprints off us and spend a little more time talking about what sort of effects this spectacular new venture is going to have over time.
Goddamned precious time.
In a nutshell (thought it's incredibly complicated and I'm leaving things out) the boys have created an umbrella company that will allow them all to, for sake of argument, freelance at what they do best and they will share equally in revenue while still having independence in the far-flung corners of the different creative elements they represent. I will be looking after the administrative end of this new company and nothing more. So I no longer have to be involved in Caleb's other business entities, though with the connections he has there is no way this can fail.
There's been a lot of restructuring in the past few weeks. Including Ben who came home, had a few drinks and decided he was too old to be on the road anymore. He and Caleb spent a lot of time together because I didn't want Ben here, and they came up with this company, though I imagine Caleb already has the company well underway and has just been waiting to collect my boys to make colored flames in the fires of his hell. Like those little paper packets you can buy at the corner store. I always liked the blue flames best but somehow I associate the blue with Lochlan, if we're assigning colors to them.
Lochlan is on board easily. He's already been freelancing forever and he can't argue with stability for us/me. PJ is automatically on board for anything and everything if you end a sentence with "and it will be good for Bridget." Daniel and Schuyler are in. Chris, Dalton and Rob are go. August and Joel will be wealthy, wealthy individuals. Duncan, Andrew and Ben will have their creative hands in all kinds of projects. John switches careers entirely. He concerns me the most right now because he could easily wind up on the wicked side of this whole operation and so I will keep an eye on him. Well, they all concern me but dinner and beyond last night cleared up a whole heaping pile of my fears and I'm left wondering why they didn't all get together and do this ten years ago.
Sam has an open invitation he will not accept. His allegiance to Jacob's church and Bridget's ungainly faith is something Caleb's evil can't penetrate and that's fine with me. Sam and Caleb have done nothing but argue over me for days now. Sam is like I was yesterday but I couldn't persuade him to come out with us last night in order to clear the air. I will talk with him today after church.
This massive undertaking is good for everyone. Not only does it mean that with small exceptions here and there, everyone will be home all the time, but the boys who had to work harder for less will now be standardized so that they will continue to work hard but see a faster return for their efforts, an ability to enjoy the finer things now instead of waiting for later. Honestly, a few of them are already well off and they work for fun. Their needs are few. None of them have designs on expensive lifestyles anyway. This isn't a bid for material wealth. More a bid for security, emotional well-being and actual community within our collective, instead of timeshares. Instead of these horrifically crowded calendar pages in a dayplanner that goes around and around.
Instead of goodbyes.
No. more. goodbyes.
Caleb did this for me. He is the only one who could do something like this for me. Who would refuse guaranteed wealth in exchange for permanence? We're not twenty years old anymore. Life on the run gets hard after a fashion. That's why the boys didn't argue, though I'm not sure they understand fully what happens when they go to sleep at night and I am with the devil.
The catch, I mean.
There is always a catch with Caleb. He didn't get where he is by giving things away for free, as philanthropically-minded as he is publicly. Privately, there is always a price to be paid.
When so summoned, Bridget must wake up in hell. But oddly enough, she must bring Ben with her. That part almost made it okay. We know the rules of that game, we've played before. It gets easier. We're a team. We don't have to say goodbye all the time anymore.
That was worth my soul. That and the $2.99 for a packet of Mystical Fire to bring along.